Children with asthma need proper support in child-care settings to keep their asthma under control and be fully active. Use the checklist below to find out how well your child-care setting assists children with asthma:

  * Is the child-care setting free of tobacco smoke at all times?
  * Is there good ventilation in the child-care setting? Are allergens and irritants that can make asthma worse reduced or eliminated? Check if any of the following are present:
  o Cockroaches
  o Dust mites (commonly found in humid climates in pillows, carpets, upholstery, and stuffed toys)
  o Mold
  o Furry pets
  o Strong odors or fumes from art and craft supplies, pesticides, paint, perfumes, air fresheners, and cleaning chemicals
  * Is there a medical or nursing consultant available to help child-care staff write policy and guidelines for managing medications in the child-care setting, reducing allergens and irritants, promoting safe physical activities, and planning field trips for students with asthma?
  * Are child-care staff prepared to give medications as prescribed by each child's physician and authorized by each child's parent? May school-aged children carry their own asthma medicines when appropriate? Is there someone available to supervise children while taking asthma medicines and monitor correct inhaler use?
  * Is there a written, asthma action plan for each child in case of a severe asthma episode (attack)? Does the plan make clear what action to take? Whom to call? When to call?
  * Does a nurse, respiratory therapist, or other knowledgeable person teach child-care staff about asthma, asthma management plans, reducing allergens and irritants, and asthma medicines? Does someone teach all the older children about asthma and how to help a classmate who has it?
  * Does the child-care provider help children with asthma participate safely in physical activities? For example, are children encouraged to be active? Can children take or be given their medicine before exercise? Are modified or alternative activities available when medically necessary?

If the answer to any question is no, children in your child-care setting may be facing obstacles to controlling their asthma. Uncontrolled asthma can hinder a child's attendance, participation, and progress in school. Child-care staff, health professionals, and parents can work together to remove obstacles and promote children's health and development.